Desire to ‘Age in Place’ Gets Even More Popular

By Jimmy Rutland, 2018 President

Home Builders Association of Alabama

 

Older Americans largely prefer to stay in their current homes as they age rather than downsize or relocate. And that is a major driver in the continued growth of “aging-in-place” remodeling. This technique involves making home modifications — big or small — to help the home owner live safely in their home for many years to come, especially as they experience changes in their health or mobility.

In fact, a recent survey of NAHB Remodelers found that among all of the various reasons their clients are requesting home remodeling projects, the desire to age in place is quickly becoming one of the most popular.

When asked about the frequency of customers calling to request aging-in-place home modifications, more than half (52%) of the remodelers said those calls occur “often” or “very often.” That portion has grown significantly in recent years — up from 32% in 2012.

While the “desire for better/newer amenities” and the “need to repair/replace old components” still lead the list of reasons to remodel, the increased intrigue for aging-in-place projects is notable, said NAHB economist Paul Emrath. However, “the uptick is not entirely surprising, given the ongoing growth in the nation’s older population,” he said.

According to the remodelers who were surveyed, some of the aging-in-place remodeling projects that have increased in popularity the most in recent years include:

  • Grab bars in showers and near toilets
  • Taller/elevated toilets
  • Curb-less entry showers
  • Widened hallways and doorways
  • Additional lighting to interior and exterior areas

 

Many of today’s most reputable remodelers have gone the extra mile to refine the craft of aging-in-place building techniques by earning the NAHB Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) designation. This benchmark for home builders, remodelers, occupational therapists and other health specialists certifies that they are among the best in the industry at identifying opportunities and integrating the latest products and designs to not only enhance the safety of your current home, but its long-term value as well.

 

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